Top 5 IT careers - how to choose the right one for you

Alan Li June 5, 2014 3 mins read

During interviews, I have often been asked by young candidates, "Where is my career headed? How should I go about planning my career path?"

Of course, the answer to this question would be clear to the more qualified, experienced candidates, but for the benefit of younger candidates, I have taken the time to organise a more-or-less comprehensive list of the career development prospects that await you in IT.

1) Software Development. If you enjoy coding, mastering new technologies, expanding your knowledge, accepting new challenges and prefer to lose yourself in your own world—then you should consider working in, or should continue working, software development. This is definitely a job that you can spend your whole life doing; it all depends on whether or not you have the passion necessary.

2) Requirements Analysis. If you are a skilled communicator, are familiar with and interested in the organisational framework of the end-users and possess basic coding skills, then being a requirements analyst may be the right choice for you. Requirements analysis is an important element that bridges a communicational gap between end-users and developers. A requirements analyst needs to conduct business requirements, systems requirements and feasibility analyses in order to between co-ordinate the opinions of the end-users with the expertise of the developers.

3) Project Management. If you find the idea of doing nothing but coding slightly tedious, and prefer to witness and be in control of the entire project development process, then perhaps project management is an appropriate career path for you. As a project manager, you must conduct extensive planning, co-ordination and task allocation for every project that you embark upon. The project manager serves as a director and coordinator of each new project.

4) Systems Architect. Many of those who really excel in software development will go on to become systems architects. This position covers a lot of the same territory as requirements analysis and software design. As a systems architect, you must strive to find the most appropriate framework or system for a project and then contribute elements of your own creativity to that framework. The job requires a solid theoretical foundation, a vast knowledge of software development, as well as the ability to collaborate efficiently with requirements analysts and projects managers.

5) Software and Systems Testing. This job doesn't require highly advanced coding skills; however, you need to be fluent in at least one programming language, be familiar with the basic principles of computing and operating systems, as well as possessing adequate typing and communication skills. Because software testing requires a written explanation of the testing process, a software tester needs to collaborate with the project manager and software engineers in order to provide report-based feedback. If you're interested in meticulous, logical work and enjoy communicating with your co-workers, then software testing could be the job for you.

Alan Li's picture
Operations Director | Financial Services, Industrial & Life Science Recruitment
ali@morganmckinley.com